Melissa was born in Wagga Wagga, Country New South Wales in 1980. She relocated to Ballina in 1987 with her family where she was raised with her siblings. Melissa studied Visual Art throughout her education. Upon completing Year 12, she completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts at Southern Cross University in 2001.
The following year, Melissa moved to Melbourne, Victoria to take on city living. She continued her creative and painting practice whilst learning to become a Picture Framer. In 2004, she married her now husband and went on to have two children.
After the birth of the second son, Melissa and her family relocated back to Northern New South Wales where she currently lives and works as a Picture Framer and Artist.
Melissa was first introduced to art at the young age of 7. Her Year One Teacher, Miss Winkler was so pleased with her drawing that she gave her an award at school assembly. This gave Melissa the encouragement and self belief that led her to where she is in her practice today.
Melissa’s visual practice is primarily working with Oils, however has also begun to play with Gum Bichromate printing. She hovers between the genres of Portraiture, Still life and Landscape.
Portraiture is a very personal experience to Melissa. The person chosen always evokes a true sense of courage and determination that runs parallel to a dark sadness behind their eyes.
Still Life can be seen as a traditional genre. Melissa plays with the classical nature of Still Life whilst giving it a contemporary childhood twist. Her scenes consist of a traditional white sheet placed with culinary objects, lit from the side or above with a Lego man trying to navigate the terrain. Lego has always been a favourite toy and identifies with the big kid in all of us.
Melissa’s influences are from everyday living, from the sardine tin and salt and pepper shakers on the table, an image taken by her husband, to the current novel she may be reading. She also finds inspiration from the work of Angus McDonald and Stanislava Pinchuk.